Cyndi Dale: Energetic Boundaries

Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today my guest is Cyndi Dale. Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, intuitive healer, visionary, and business consultant. She has written several groundbreaking books on the chakra and intuition, including with Sounds True a book on The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy, and a book called Illuminating the Afterlife: Your Soul’s Journey Through the Worlds Beyond. Cyndi’s latest book with Sounds True is called Energetic Boundaries: How to Stay Protected and Connected in Work, Love, and Life. In this book, she presents a definitive guide for maintaining this essential aspect of our health and personal integrity. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Cyndi and I spoke about holes in our energy field and what their root causes might be. We also spoke about how to self-assess one’s one energetic system, [and] what healthy energetic boundaries might look and feel like. And finally, we spoke about how healers and other sensitive people can keep their center and the integrity of their energetic boundaries. Here’s my conversation with Cyndi Dale.

Cyndi, to begin with, I think it would be helpful if you could define what you mean by energetic boundaries.

Cyndi Dale: That’s a great question. Another phrase that I often substitute for the phrase “energetic boundaries” is “spiritual parameters.” They’re the energy bands—the bands of light that surround us that actually begin at the skin and permeate a good four to six feet of the space that’s around us—that constitute our second self. I mean, most of us are really familiar with who we are inside of ourselves, or we’re constantly trying to get familiar with that self. But sometimes it’s hard to identify with the fact that we’re so much bigger than this body. We extend in waves and bands of light and energies–actually more than four to six feet beyond us. We extend even farther through these kind of invisible and yet to some extent energetic bands of energy.

Sometimes scientists insist we go at least a football field away when we’re very emotional or really interactive in what we’re doing. So energetic boundaries are those bands of energy or light that extend way beyond our skin, but really need to be considered as a part of us in the same way as our organs, our skin, our thoughts, and our feelings.

TS: OK, so somebody comes to you for counseling of some kind, and they have, let’s start with “healthy” energetic boundaries, healthy bands around them. What might that look like to you or feel like to you when you encounter such a person?

CD: It’s a great question. I usually sense these types of things intuitively. I’m very visual so I tend to get a lot of pictures in my head, but as you also imply, Tami, we can also sense people’s energetic boundaries. We just get, you know, a kind of vibe, a feeling about what’s going on. If I’m going to tune in or attune to the antennae inside of my mind to get some pictures, I’m going to see beautiful, reverberating bands of energy of different colors extending beyond that person. Closest to their skin I’m going to see the red tones, and just like a rainbow effect, I’m going to go a step out and see a little orange and yellow. And then I’m going to go into some of the green sort of colors and hues and the blues. Then finally moving to purple, I’m going to get these beautiful, beautiful bands of white, or some of the even higher frequencies in terms kind of their spiritual effectiveness. Maybe some gold or silver or even some pink way out there. So if I’m going to see intuitively a set of healthy boundaries, I’m going to see a rainbow—a bright shiny, sparkly energy coming off of somebody.

But I’m also going to have a certain feeling in my body. I might feel really comfortable with that person. I’m personally going to feel really safe. I’m going to have a sense that they are really whole, they are contained within themselves, they know who they are. They’re not going to be penetrating or invading who I am. And yet, they’re going to be able to relate to me—very adult, very maturely. So I think all of us get senses of what’s going on with other people’s energetic boundaries and it’s more that we have to learn to pay attention.

We’re not always going to get these pretty pictures in our head. And in fact, unless I’m sitting in my office and working with somebody, I don’t want to see the pictures. I want to go to Target and do my shopping. I want to go to the mall and just get the shoes and head out. I don’t want to see what’s going on with everybody, but I’m always, always able to kind of sense if who I’m working with is in a whole sort of a place, or if they’re kind of tugging at me or pushing me away, or maybe knocking on the door unconsciously, asking me to perform some service for them. And I think all of us get those sense sometimes about people and we feel comfortable, frankly, and kind of serene, [and] maybe really engaged with the people who have really healthy energetic boundaries.

TS: OK, and then by contrast, of course—this is where I’m going—somebody comes in and their energetic boundaries aren’t healthy. And I’d be curious what the main patterns are that you see when people have unhealthy boundaries, what it looks like, and feels like to you.

CD: Intuitively, in terms of the visual on it, I’m mainly going to see holes in this field. I’m going to see huge kind of gaping wounds or holes. I’m going to see energy sliding in through those boundaries that goes all the way into the person’s body and psyche—that’s not supposed to be coming in. And that kind of energy is going to be a little modeled, dark, kind of ugly. It’s going to make me feel uncomfortable, maybe even sick to my stomach because they’re bringing in energy that’s not good for them.

In terms of just the coloration of the entire field, it’s going be either be too faint, or as I already kind of insinuated, kind of brown, dark, shadowy, cloudy. You know, kind of like Pig pen in Charles Schultz’s Charlie Brown strips. They’re going to look a little bit like Pigpen, but they also conversely have a lot of really beautiful, vibrant energy leaking out.

So we all function on life energy—sometimes it’s called qi in the traditional Chinese medicine system—these beautiful colors of passionate intense energy that enables our body to function and enables us to think and process our emotions. But for many people, when they have these holes or distortions in their field, that good energy is leaking straight out. It might kind of go out into the world at large, or sometimes what happens is that there’s very specific people that somebody with these bad energy fields, if you would, are giving away their energy to or having it stolen from them. So sometimes it’s hard to figure out if it’s really our stuff that’s causing these distortions, or if we’re being invaded by or manipulated by somebody else. Those are some of the general ways that I’m going to feel and perceive the distorted and certainly unhealthy, insufficient energetic boundaries.

TS: Let’s talk a little bit about these holes. You implied that sometimes when we have a hole it’s because there’s some unhealthy connection with someone else. How does that work?

CD: Unfortunately, most of those unhealthy connections start when we’re really young. Or that patterns of them start when we’re—some scientists actually believe when we’re in the womb. So from the earliest age on, we’re very open, very vulnerable, we want to connect, we want to bond, we want to link with people. I think we come into this world—you know, certainly we bring in a little stuff if you believe in past lives, which I do, but we want to please and we want to receive love from other people.

Oftentimes it’s our parents or our family members or when we get a little older, the kids we meet in school, or the systems that we become a part of that set up rules about how we’re going to interact. And these rules, which are unconsciously portrayed or conveyed to us, restrict us or tell us that perhaps we’re only going to be loved if we give mom all our life energy. Or mom is only going to feed us if we share with her the energy that she needs in order to achieve her goals. Or maybe dad has always wanted a son, and I’m the daughter, and so dad kind of creates this unconscious bargain with me, this pact that says, “OK, you can only act this way. You’ve gotta be just like my son, you can’t really be who you are in order for me to love you.” Every time we adopt or adapt to one of those contracts or rules, we’re opening ourselves in such a way that the other person’s energy can come into us, potentially anyway. And our own energy might then leak out or literally be taken from us and located in the other person. So most holes begin with these kind of unconscious bargains that we go into because we want to survive, we want to please, we want get our needs met.

Unfortunately, many of us—John Bradshaw is a great author who writes on family systems, andhe suggests 97 percent [Sighs] of all our family systems are dysfunctional. Many of them really severely, with alcoholism, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect. And anytime we are physically violated, or anytime we’re around someone who’s physically violated—say, mom slaps dad or dad slaps mom or any of them hurt us or injure us physically or are constantly using a stream or a battery of mean words, verbal abuse—anytime we’re in an environment with that kind of violence, even if it’s not always physical, that energy of violence just plummets through, it drives straight through our energetic boundaries and capsizes them or creates holes in them. So we don’t even have to have necessarily have been physically violated, but if we are around violence, dark scenes, situations that are really traumatic or dramatic, our boundaries start to collapse.

You know, I remember when I was in my mother’s womb. I don’t know how old I was. I don’t think I kept track. I don’t think I was in linear time at that point, but I could see the angry words that my parents were exchanging coming in through my mom’s stomach, through her uterus. And those sound waves, I can still remember when I repeat the story what they looked like—kinda curlicue, really dark energy. They penetrated through my mom, straight through the energy boundaries I had just as a small embryo or fetus and right into my body. Those kinds of sounds—angry tones, belligerence, cruelty, meanness, the shaming messages that sometimes people might even think about us really constantly or maybe even tell themselves internally—can come straight through our boundaries and enter us.

Usually, a situation needs to be quite dramatic or repetitive, because it’s kind of like our skin: if I was to cut my skin, I would bleed. I’d be wounded, but in a few days or weeks, depending on how serious the infraction is, the skin is going to repair itself. But guess what? Let’s say my dad yells at me over and over and says kind of the same nasty message. Pretty soon, my boundaries just aren’t going to repair. They are just going to say, “What’s the use? I mean, here we are, we’re always going to let those kind of negative messages in.”

[It’s not that] we want to attract similar situations, but our boundaries, because they are trained to let in certain types of abuse or negligence or kind of interactions, they are just going to remain open to those kind of situations. It’s not our fault. It kind of just is what it is. So by the time we’re older, think about how many experiences that we’ve gone through that are wonderful and beautiful, but also how many maybe don’t suit us, but are very harmful and damaging. Those affect our energetic boundaries and let energy slip in and out, [and] that often isn’t good for us.

TS: Now Cyndi, this is a little bit of an aside, but when you say you remember these experiences from when you were in the womb, is that through a like a regression or is it possible to remember things from that time in our life?

CD: You know, I think it is. I remember it just from remembering. I know that’s kind of a goofy way to say it, but I was kind of the shaman in the family—you know, the one who saw things, felt things, and not all these things were provable or visible. So I, when I was young, was able to perceive spirits, angels, the bad guys. I could see colors in and around my parents. I could get really strong senses that were highly accurate about what kind of moods they were in and then what kinds of consequences there were to those moods. You know, maybe dad was gonna drink, or mom was gonna get really nasty, or whatever it is. But for some reason, I’m not sure if that was just the role I played in the family or just the way the cards were handed to me, I remember a lot of my birth and recall even before I got to be an adult and did regressions. Some of those very odd, if you [will], but to me very concrete intuitive experiences.

[One time,] I remember seeing a ghost walk right in the house, and I thought he was cooking. I later said to my mom, “Why did you let him walk in the house?” And she said, “Who? What are you talking about?” So I had a little bit more than a vivid imagination. I also had kind of a very vivid set of intuitive faculties from the time that I was really little. And you know, Tami, what I think is interesting, because I work with clients on a day-to-day basis, many of my clients come in and tell me similar types of stories. Like the one time they saw a weird energy behind their mom, or talking through dad, or whatever that might be. And I think— and this is a bit of an aside—in my book Energetic Boundaries I do have a whole chapter on kids and kids’ boundaries, and the different kind of kid souls that are around right now, and even adult kind of souls and family groups.

Lot and lots of young people right now are being born with some of these faculties really open and intact and they can see the boundaries. I think it’s at least three, four times a week, I have a mom call me with a story of one of her kids who talks about seeing these colors around people. So, you we’re getting more open and it’s a very positive thing. I think allowing kids to kind of share a little bit more of what they see that some of us adults who went through the school system a few decades ago were told, “You’re not supposed to talk about that stuff.”

TS: Speaking of children, I know you have children of your own.

CD: I have two kids and a foster daughter. I’m not sure I should call my 23-year-old son a kid anymore, though he’s still a little bit on the subsidy program so we’re still working toward that one, but he’s a great young man. Then I have a 12-year-old, and a young woman who lived with me for a couple of years as well when she was in high school. So I’m surrounded by children. Young people, adults, and children.

TS: I’m not a parent, but I am an aunt, and from my limited experience being around kids, the issue of drawing healthy boundaries seems like a really big challenge for parents. And I’m curious what you have learned from your work with energetic boundaries that applies to parenting.

CD: Well, first of all, the kids actually need to be taught how to hold their energetic boundaries. I think we are at a point where life is so crazy—there’s no margins on time, and work, and the demands on all of us. The same thing is happening with kids and they’re literally being pulled in so many directions, I personally—and I feel really strongly about this—think it’s critical that they know that they have energetic boundaries, and they’re being equipped with tools in order to hold their own, and to be able to differentiate between what’s their feeling, illness, situation, desire, thought, or whatever it is, and what is somebody else’s.

A case in point, I’ll give you a really clear demonstration of this with my youngest, who, two or three years ago, something like that—I’m a longtime fan of therapy, meaning going to therapy. I work with a woman who is a Sufi master, quite lovely. I was sitting in with her and actually working on my boundaries, working on what’s called “the red one,” the physical one, that’s really about what’s happening inside of our body, our everyday life, our homes, our pocketbooks, our primary relationships, and etc. And [there] was a big hole in the bottom, coming near my hip area of my physical boundary. Well, you know, I took out the energy that was stuck in there that wasn’t any good for me, kind of worked on my belief system and let go of the energy that had been stuck in there. When I got home, I had a call from the school nurse who told me that at exactly that time, my then maybe eight- or nine-year-old, sitting in his desk at school threw out his back in the very same area. There’s no way a kid sitting in a desk is going to throw out his back. He had literally taken on my energy because we’re so connected, and it disturbed his own energetic field, [and] because it was a physical energy field, it disrupted his body.

So I traced him—I took him off to his therapist who’s open to this stuff, who sent him then to my therapist to start to teach him that he doesn’t need to take on everything that’s out there. He can breathe deeply if he feels something funny going on, he can picture different kind of colors around him if he starts to feel a feeling that he doesn’t think is his own, or want to do something with his other friends that he doesn’t think he should be doing and he’s being led—you know, kind of the follower syndrome. So he’s got a handful of tools that he can use now on his own. And he doesn’t have to tell other kids he’s doing this. He doesn’t have to say he’s doing weird things, but even just through breathing and visualizing colors and recognizing when something’s his or not, he’s much more able now to be Gabe, rather than to take on somebody else or be somebody else.

He used to have a lot of ADHD symptoms, lots and lots and lots of them. I very gently, and in a really normalizing way, kind of helped him maintain his boundaries, or picture himself as Superman with a cape so nothing can get in and harm him. He has probably 10 percent of those symptoms still remaining. And I’m not saying all ADHD or autism or these different kind of conditions have to do with energetic boundaries, but in my experience, we can help with just about any kind of kid concern if we help them with their boundaries and to [help them] know they get to be who they are. They don’t have to be who mom wants them to be or what people are feeling around them as well.

TS: OK, so whether it’s a child that’s trying to answer this question or we ourselves are trying to answer this question: Is this mine? Is this my experience? My emotions? Or does this belong to somebody else? How do we answer that?

CD: That’s a great question. That’s what the whole book is about, really. I would even say my entire profession as an intuitive consultant, energy medicine person, is about figuring out what’s mine versus what’s somebody else’s and helping people figure that out for themselves. Now, you know, my quick and easy way to get there is I cheat.

TS: Thank you, good! That’s great, I’m very interesting in cheating!

CD: OK, we’re going straight for the heart on this one.

TS: OK, good.

CD: Because, you know, we’ve all been through so many experiences that aren’t really easy. We aren’t always going to know the answer, so whatever religion somebody is, I always say, “Just go to the Divine. Just go inside to go to the Divine and say, ‘God, is this mine or mine or not? Allah, is this mine or not? Great Mother, is this mine or not?'” Because the more we’re filled with that higher spirit, or the more willing we are to be filled with that which is greater, that which is the source—I don’t care what words people use. That’s essentially how we’re going to know what’s ours or not. That’s where we’re going to get our answers. That’s how we’re going to get our answers. And that’s also how we’re going to get opened up to what we’re supposed to do if we’re full of stuff that’s not ours.

So as I said, my therapist is Sufi. I think I spend half my time there chanting “Allah,” and I wasn’t raised in the Sufi tradition or in the Islamic tradition. But it doesn’t matter what word we use as long as our heart is in that place that says, “Let there be only the Divine, and within that, I will be saved, I will know who I am, I will know what it is I’m to do.”

TS: OK, someone asked inside, “Is this mine, or does it belong to someone else? Divine, help me know this.” How can they trust the answer? Yes, no, maybe? Yes and no? They may or may not get a clear reception.

CD: Well, it’s true. You know what, we can do some trial and error as well. When I don’t know, if I get a sense of, “OK, I’m sad, is this mine or not?” [If] I really can’t figure it out, I just go through the list, kind of like a stoplight. There’s three answers: Red, which is no; green, which is yes; and yellow, which is much more difficult to deal with, which is that it’s little bit of mine and somebody else’s. I just go through the list.

I’m actually very logical about it. I’ll go, “OK, let me just imagine that this is not mine, alright? This is not my energy.” And so I just go into that place and see if that feels right. I may go into the place of saying, “This is all mine,” and see if it feels right in my body. And I might say, “Hey, is this a mix?” And that might be kind of what seems to be the answer. Or I visualize the stoplight, and I’ll say, “Alright, I just want to see in my mind’s eye what this is. Is this red? Is this yellow? Is this green?” And I tend to get an answer that way. I’ll just see a picture that shows me what’s really going on.

The other thing that I do, and I do this with clients all the time, when clients are with me—because I think at least 80 percent of the issues that affects us are the energies that we think are ours, [but] usually aren’t. So I almost always use as a fail-safe in working with a client the idea that a lot of what we are dealing with didn’t start with this person, so we need to kind of gently and loving release it. Not so it’s going to harm who it originated with, but so that it’s not going to harm, for instance, my client anymore. So I just say, “Divine, just take whatever isn’t that person’s and we’ll deal with what’s left.” I can do the same thing with myself. “You know what? Divine, Cyndi spirit, higher self, whatever, just take what’s not mine and I’ll deal with what’s left.”

TS: So let’s say someone’s listening and they want to do a self-energy assessment of their energetic boundaries. They want to know, are there holes? Where might they be? What might the issues be? How could you advise them on that process?

CD: Well, I think sometimes it’s difficult to do self-assessments in a meditative state alone or in our heads because we tend to drift. So the easiest way to do it is to take out a piece of paper, draw a body—even if it’s just a stick figure—and draw four bands of energy around that figure. The first one closest to the body is red or physical. And that’s exactly what’s in there: our physical concerns. The next line is going to be the emotional energies. You can see those as orange-ish, if you want to. The next line is going to be the relational. And then we’re going to be dealing on the outside realm with spiritual issues, and you can see that as white. Relational is kind of green.

And so, what I like to do is have those bands, those circles of energy surrounding the entirety of the physical body and go into a meditative state, get grounded, get centered, breathe deeply, and just start on the inside [and go] out. And see what comes through you. Just kind of play with it, like you’re a kid and you’re coloring. You can even just use a pencil and show yourself where there [are] gaps, where there’s energy that’s leaking out, where there’s energy that’s coming in, and do the same with each of those four boundaries.

What tends to work the best is if you can label, you know, where did that hole come from? Is that a puncture wound from childhood? From mom? From dad? From a teacher? Is that puncture wound from how I think about things? Is it a spiritual puncture wound? Are there spirits or energies or bad things around me? And so try to label as much as possible those different kind of squiggles or holes or distortions that you put on the paper and then work from there.

If you are challenged doing it from, say, your right hand, kind of borrow from that book where you’re taught how to draw with your opposite hand. So for me, I’m right-handed. If I’m really stuck, I may want to do this with my left hand because that taps into my more unconscious self—the self that’s there watching all of this and figuring this out, but not often able to speak to my head because my head gets so busy. So that’s the exercise I would use. And it’s usually really accurate when people do this for themselves.

TS: Now, I want to circle back to something. A couple of times you mentioned this idea of bad guys, negative swirls of energy that we might find that when we’re going through these four dimensions of our energetic boundaries. And you mentioned [that] as a child, you had a sense potentially of these bad guys, that you had a sense sometimes of bad guys in the room.

CD: Yes.

TS: So what are these…

CD: [Laughs] What are the bad guys?

TS: Who are the bad guys?! Who are they?

CD: [Laughs] I just like using the term “bad guys.” I think it’s kind of television–like, or something. You know, there are invisible entities. Almost everybody, and I’ve seen some of the America polls, believes that there’s angels, and also believe that there’s demons. In other communities these are called jinns, or dark spirits, or dark forces. Sometimes they are called ancestral huntings or ghosts that never left this plane—you know, the people that are in our ancestral lineage who just plain never left. And some of these invisibles—or ghosts, or spirits, or phantoms, or whatever word we want to use—are quite beneficial, like the angels, or we all have spiritual guides, or we [sometimes] have ancestors who look after us. And some of them aren’t. Some of them maybe don’t want to face the music, or they had a really tough life and they’re still lingering. They just don’t want to go to the other side, so where are they going to get their energy? Maybe [by scaring] us or literally penetrating our energetic boundaries and stealing life energy from the living so that they can stay around.

So there’s a whole plethora or host of entities, ghosts, spirits, that aren’t out there for our well-being. For one reason or another, they are trying to steal our energy or stick their energy in us. Maybe the feelings they had, they’re bad feelings, they’re guilt and shame that they had when they were alive that they don’t want to deal with [and] stick that into the living.

Again, as I said, I do a lot of client work. I probably work with the bad guys or the dark forces at, I don’t know, out of seven clients a day, probably five times.

TS: Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. That’s a lot!

CD: It’s really real. What’s really more awesome than that, my clients are really normal people for the most part. [Laughs] They’re accountants, they’re homemakers, they might be CEOs. People come in because they’re not happy in their jobs. But to the one, if I bring up the dark force, or once they get into my room, they are willing—they just start talking about this curse that they’re carrying or a voice that they constantly hear.

For instance, a few months ago, I got a call from a plumber in New Jersey. And his daughter set him up for this session. So he really didn’t want to do it. It was like, “Oh, this is going to be strange, this is going to weird.” He was interested in looking at some money issues. I immediately saw this whole story line that I didn’t want to say, because I thought, “He’s really gonna think we’re flipped out now.” But it involved this whole story that seemed to be from a past life when he was a knight and he was killed, and the person who killed him was still hanging around and constantly talking at him. I could describe the gentlemen—not really much of a gentleman—from the past life, exactly what he looked like.

Well, my client, the plumber, interrupted me after a few minutes and started crying. He said, “I can’t believe you’re talking about this! I’ve had this dream, exactly like you’ve been saying, ever since I was a little boy. I hear that voice all the time. That’s the picture that I [use] to describe the entity that’s always plaguing me.” It connected in. It was literally connected through his energy field, his energetic boundaries, all the way into his neck, and it kept whispering at him. And of course, who is he going to tell that to? You’re not going to go to a therapist because you’re going to be told your schizophrenic, right? You’re not going to tell your doctor because you’ll be put on pills or told your schizophrenic. He didn’t tell his family because he thought, you know, you just kind of tough this thing out. He didn’t tell his family growing up or when he was older.

That’s just one story out of thousands and thousands I could tell where people confirm, “Yeah, you know, there’s something that’s on me or something that penetrates into me that hurts me, that injures me, that is making me ill.” I had one client with cancer, multiple types of cancer. And it had spread around her body. You know, not everything is going to heal physically. So I always want to say that. The caveat is miracles show up in many forms, not always in a physical healing. And we tracked it back to the womb time.

I said, “It seems to me that maybe there was a twin when your mom was pregnant with you. And I think that it’s literally still kind of half in and half out of your body. It has very negative thoughts about you.” She too looked me and said that her mom had been convinced that she had miscarried one of the two children when she was pregnant. And that she had always felt this presence in the right side of her body, kind of this gray blobby presence that she could never get rid of. It was sticking all of this dark energy in her because it was mad and jealous that she, my client, survived and that she didn’t.

Well, we did some work, which is not that hard to do—you just basically ask for grace and for a higher power or your own higher self to set things right to release that little twin, which was pretty powerful in its lack of integrity and also intensity, to the other side. My client’s cancer tumor started shrinking, absolutely right away. So for her, it was all about an energetic boundary interference. You know, I wouldn’t even say that that twin was a bad guy, just very misconstrued and upset and angry—like we living people get when we don’t get what we want. We’re not always nice about it, [and] neither are those beings that kind of float around.

TS: What is it in our energetic system that makes us hospitable to these freeloading energies, if you will?

CD: Alright. There’s one word that I can answer that with, and it’s “worthiness.” Meaning, a lack of worthiness.

TS: Hmmm.

CD: Absolutely. And I could give you lots more than that as well, but in the end, there’s usually a place inside of ourselves—maybe it developed a long time ago in a past life, in our family, [and]certainly furthered by our life experiences, no matter what its inception [was]—where we really just don’t feel worthy of being loved, of being ourselves, of being great, of being whole, of being not lonely, but of being whole within ourselves and being complete. So typically what sets us up, I believe, at the deepest level—not to shame ourselves for this because we all share this kind of common issue—is that at some level we just don’t think we’re really worthy to be who we really are.

Now, on top of that kind of idea, there are thousands of other experiences that can set us up for certain types of boundary violations. If we’re sexually abused, we’re going to have major boundaries violated physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. We’re not going to have a lot that’s really working well for us. Some things will, a lot of things won’t.

So we’re going to be set up to be violated by other people because that’s what our boundaries are shaped like. They’re malformed, and underneath—here we get the worthiness thing—at some level we’re going to think that’s all we’re worth, whether that [means being open] to being taken advantage of sexually or financially or emotionally. Some people go the other direction so they don’t have to feel that lack of worthiness or the hurt and the pain of what they went through, they just do unto other what was done unto them. There’s not a—it’s not better, you know, those of us who very subconsciously feel unworthy and invite being mistreated versus those of use who feel unworthy and mistreat others just to try get that energy back out of us again. It’s two sides of the same coin.

If we’re really honest, like if I’m really honest with myself, I have both sides, just sometimes in different arenas and places in my life. But I really think underneath we went through something—this life [or] earlier. I usually track things way, way back in time for people and see that past lives and this life are really kind of reiterations of the same wound that made us feel separate from goodness and unworthy. We need to really be willing to go into that dark feeling and ask for the truth. Ask to feel and to know that we are worthy. But some of us, that’s even scarier than holding onto the unworthiness feelings itself.

TS: Now, asking to know that we’re worthy—is that the remedy? I think that probably [a lot of] listeners are relating with what you’re saying right now.

CD: That’s the remedy. That is the remedy. And it’s really—you know, I can say that I have experienced real challenges sometimes letting myself feel worthy. You’d think that once we taste it or we yearn for it, it’d be really easy to open from the inside to the out or the outside to the in—to unconditional love and that sustenance of worthiness—but sometimes our shame is so deep. Sometimes for me, my sense of guilt or shame or my conviction that I’m bad is so deep that I can really struggle to really letting that remedy in, to really drinking that healing potion.

I’m going to give you another cheat sheet, because this works for me and for my clients every time, where I don’t feel willing, where I’m maybe really honest and I’m saying, “Maybe I’d rather keep this negative boundary violation pattern going,” or “Maybe I still kind of want to feel like I don’t deserve to be treated really well,” or “Maybe I want to hold onto this contract that I have with my mom, because I don’t really want to feel my childhood pain that she would rather hurt me than take care of me.” So there’s lots of reasons that we may not want to think into the worthiness that really is innate to us. I just say, “I’m willing, even where I’m unwilling. Even where I’m unwilling, I’m willing to let the willingness come in. I’m willing to let the Divine, the all, treat me and show me that I’m worthy even where I don’t recognize it or know it yet.” So it’s kind of like getting the pill—you know, even if you’re not sure you want to take the pill. And then it starts working right away, as well.

TS: I love the cheat sheets. Thank you.

CD: I know. Aren’t they great?

TS: Yes, they’re great.

CD: Life’s complicated. We’ve got to find ways around it.

TS: One thing I’ve noticed in this conversation that I want you to say a bit more about is that you seem very pro-therapy. I haven’t spoken to that many intuitive counselors who seem to endorse the therapy process the way that you do. I’m curious for you to say a few words about that.

CD: Yes, isn’t that interesting? I sometimes find that as well, that sometimes people who work in, or really accelerate into, the intuitive field maybe have some question marks about therapy because it can seem really slow, dull, really pedantic. I am very pro-therapy, but it’s usually the kind that I recommend is what’s termed “family systems,” where you’re looking for the patterns and the roots of the pattern. And you’re seeking to heal from the inside to the out. So you’re trying to reframe what occurred so that you can get through it. Not avoid it, but get through it. And this may be a bit of a challenging statement, but sometimes I find that the people who don’t want to do some of that early childhood work, if it’s sitting there, can go into and toward some of the intuitive or energy medicine techniques almost as a way to spiritually bypass [that work].

It’s a little bit like, to put it bluntly, going into a religion that’s very fanatic because then you don’t have to feel your feelings or do the dirty work—the hard work that might lie inside. So I think we’ve got to watch it that we don’t use a spiritual mechanism to bypass the emotional work, or the mental work, or the reframing work that we’re called to do. Now, at the same time, on the other side of the barbell, I find people who go to therapy endlessly, nothing but 12-step programs—which I’m a fan of—you know, lots and lots of therapy, but they never open the box to go into the intuitive or their spiritual gifts, or open into the real spiritual arenas. So I think these two have to come together so that we marry them.

It doesn’t mean we have to spend decades and decades in therapy, but I do think that there’s some real critical pieces to understand that have been taught by greats like Earnie Larson, or John Bradshaw, or even Melody Beattie to some extent about co-dependency, that give us an understanding of how we’re affected by our childhood. You know? So that we don’t bypass it but we go through it, because the learning is going through something, not jumping over it.

TS: Very well said. I’m going to give you a—I’m ready to clap right now. [Claps] So, clapping for a moment.

CD: Thank you. [Laughs]

TS: The group of people that I find the most interested in energetic boundaries, at least among the people that I know, is healers—healers who work with other people, and at the end of the day, [say,] “Oh my God, you know, I still feel slimmed by them,” or “At the end of working with all these different clients, this person’s despair is still with me.” So what are your specific recommendations for people who are in the healing professions?

CD: Well, it’s a huge issue. In fact, right before we started talking, Tami, I was on the phone with a young man [who] wants to go into energy medicine. He’s a nurse, and he was asking those very questions. He said, “How can I function? I go into the hospital and I see the dead people. Or I feel everybody’s agony. Or when I give somebody a shot, I can sense it as if it’s going into my skin.” And that’s in allopathy, but of course, he experiences it as a burgeoning hands-on healer when he’s working on his clients as well. So it’s all about boundaries.

I use a technique that’s really simple that I use with every client. I use it in my everyday life. It’s the one technique that I constantly use and it provides the kind of energetic protection or boundaries that are necessary. Not just to be a healer, but, you know, healers are healers because they can sense people’s issues. I mean, we go into that field because we are intuitive. We go into that field because we lose boundaries. We go into that field because we can sense others’ emotions, their needs, their maladies as their guides and what they need. So we need to have the same boundaries in a session as we do outside of the session.

In a nutshell, the process that I use, I just call it “spirit-to-spirit.” I affirm I’m a spiritual being. I affirm that the client is a spiritual being. And then I call in a greater spirit to set up the boundaries and to actually do the work, provide me the insight, share the healing energies, and to do whatever needs to be done. Every time I teach that technique, healers go, “Oh my stars!” once they experience it. It’s like getting zipped up in a light. The other person’s stuff, you can register it, but you don’t take it in or on anymore. So there’s some kind of magic that happens with that technique.

The other thing that’s really critical, say I’m going to work with somebody, is often times I sit separate. So I use very physical techniques too. My office, which I’m actually sitting in, is full of rocks and stones that I’ve collected from around the world, really organic materials, colors that are really grounding. I really attune to my environment, so I set my work environment up in such a way that I can be separate from the client but constantly fed by the energies represented in my room. So all the different elements are kind of represented inside of my office. I actually have a table between myself and my client. Even if I’m going to do hands-on healing work, I start the session sitting opposing them so that I can be separate enough and objective enough that I don’t get tangled up in their energy. I can do this spirit-to-spirit technique and I don’t get tangled up in my own agenda either, so that I can maintain a separateness, because then I’m more objective, but I’m also better at being intuitive as well.

When I’m teaching a class, which a lot of healers do or they work with small groups, I use a simple technique. I call them “beams of grace” or “healing streams of grace.” I see them. I call them. I feel them. And I set them up around the entirety of the class. But you can do this in a session with a client, too, [set up] kind of a wall like a beautiful dome of these healing streams of grace or light. And then I ask that each person be surrounded in his or her own bubble of grace as well, so that all of us are able to be inside of ourselves. We’re not exchanging energies—we’re not supposed to. If I’m teaching, then that class is able to be unified, but we don’t get any of the disruptions either from interference, [from] “the bad guys” if you would, or even from people’s stuff that might get triggered in the class. [That] keeps everybody balanced and whole and working together, going toward the same direction rather than different directions.

So those are few of the really simple techniques that I use. You know, there’s one more that healers really like. Most of us have been taught, especially through the New Age or New Thought movement, that we need to ground, which is to kind of picture yourself like a tree and send this shaft of energy or light down into the earth. Well, there’s a lot of other elements besides the earth element.

For instance, if I ground into just the earth element, I start soaking in other people’s energy. I immediately feel, heavy, burdened, emotional, everybody’s pain, everybody’s problems. That literal element does not work for me. I literally image myself sending this shaft of my own energy into air—I mean underneath my feet, but I ground into air. That way I feel buoyed. I feel like I can get information for myself or for my client. But I don’t start absorbing that way. So people can ground into wood, air, earth, fire, water, ether, metal, star energy. There’s a lot of other properties that we can connect with that keep us inside of our own field as healers when we’re working with someone rather than kind of setting ourselves up without even knowing it.

TS: I’m curious, Cyndi, if in your own life and practice you ever had an ongoing challenging boundary issue where you felt, let’s say, something in your field that was just really hard for you to get to be outside of your field, even though you knew it wasn’t yours. And how you resolved it.

CD: Oh, yes, I have had that in several areas of life. Professionally, when I first kind of opened up to all of this—oh, I don’t know 25 years ago or something like that—I was taking a psychic development class and I was pretty good at all the processes that [the teacher] was teaching. She then decided she was going to teach us mediumship, which is channeling disembodied entities, in a nutshell. I was like, I don’t know. This feels a little spooky to me. I’m not too sure I want to do this. And she didn’t give directions. I’m a stickler for steps and rules and boundaries and ending something that’s not working if we feel funny about it. But that was not present in that class. So I’m sitting there, and she says, “Just open to whoever wants to literally come into you and talk to you.” I mean, you can kind of feel chilled even hearing that. And this entity started coming into my neck. And it was physical. It was so real, it was like the movie Ghost with Whoopi Goldberg, you know, like somebody jumping right in. I felt itchy, crawly, scratchy, my heart started racing. There was this strange kind of warm/cold flush that kept penetrating in my body. I didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t taught us what to do.

Fortunately, I’m fairly feisty, so I said, “Get out!” And I felt it leave, but then that entity kept hovering around my right shoulder for months. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know who to talk to. I mean, I told the teacher, she didn’t seem too concerned. There wasn’t any real teaching back then about boundaries. It was kind of this open-ended, New Age, go-happy-and-channel kind of thing. It never talked to me, but I could feel it. I actually had, like, a cold shoulder most of the time. And I just knew that there was something dark that was always affecting me and I was feeling depressed and all of that. Finally, I didn’t know what to do.

So I sat down one day and I just started thumbing through the Bible, which, regardless of what religion you are, is a really cool document for looking at psychic solutions, to be honest, because it’s full of stuff nobody teaches you about in Sunday school. I opened to this passage where one of the judges, his name was Gideon, had tested the spirits. He said, “If it’s not of the light, go away.” You know? If this isn’t of God, you’ve got to go away. So as I was reading that passage as well as others, I thought, nothing has permission to be around me. I mean, somewhere, I’m thinking it can stay or it wouldn’t be staying. And so just me recognizing that, boom, the thing just slipped off and I haven’t ever been affected by an entity like that again.

In my personal life, what I struggle with the most—frankly, as does my son Gabriel, because we’re pretty emotional people, we have very viable, spongy, emotional boundaries. When I’m really close to somebody, I can feel their feelings. I also have a really kind of spongy sort of physical boundary when I’m really close to somebody. I can feel their physical issues and pains as well. And so, I constantly use it as learning tool.

For instance, the man I’ve dated almost four years, if I start to feel like I’m getting too emotional, like there’s this feeling for a little bit for what is going on, or it just doesn’t click, or why am I so sad, or why am I so scared because a minute ago I wasn’t so sad, or I wasn’t so scared, I immediately know I’m feeling his feelings. And frankly, a lot of us women do that. We’re kind of trained to do that. So I know that I have that pattern. I haven’t completely fixed it, but because I know that I have that pattern, I’m able to say, “OK, whatever’s not mine gets to be released. I’ll deal with what’s mine.” I instantly calm down. I’m instantly calm. And you know, [then] I don’t need to pick a fight for him to feel his feelings. That was my old behavior. What happens he suddenly start to share his feelings.

It’s just as much my issue that I take this stuff on, or I let it in, as [it is] his that he doesn’t want to feel certain feelings that are uncomfortable for him. The physical stuff is still constant, too. I think it’s often that way between parents and children, in particular between mothers and children. I was just driving in the car last night and my son Gabe—who just finished baseball, and now we’re doing football, OK, rah, rah. It’s every night for two hours.

TS: [Laughs]

CD: Yes. Not my favorite sport, but whatever. I picked him up and he goes “Mom, I don’t feel very good.” Instantly, I felt queasy, I felt nauseous, I felt dizzy. And there I am. Here’s mom, you know, the eternal caretaker. I knew what he was feeling because I was feeling it, I knew what to do. I said, “Oh, you need to have some Vitamin Water. You’re a little dehydrated. It’s your electrolytes.” I kind of diagnosed it through my body because I felt it through my body. So some of these things, I haven’t experienced [perfecting] them, but my strongest tendencies—I’m better able to cope, I’m better able to stop, you know, kind of doing my part of it. And if I do slide into my old absorbing tendencies, I’m able to work it for the good these days, not have it debilitate me to the extent that it used when I was younger and I had no idea what was going on. I would just feel everybody’s everything. So I’m a lot better than that. I’ll tell you that.

TS: You know, Cyndi, once again, there’s so many things I could still talk to you about. You really are a wealth of information, but I’m going to shut our conversation down and ask you just to answer one final question, which is really I’m going to ask a request. I wonder if you would give our listeners a blessing.

CD: Oh, I would love to.

TS: A blessing that maybe relates to this idea of our worthiness and the potential strength that we can have in our energetic field.

CD: Absolutely. And I encourage listeners right now just if they can—not if you’re in a car—but just to shut your eyes and just take a couple deep breaths and hear these words through your heart. You are worthy. You have always been worthy. You always will be worthy of love, of grace, of health, and of the richness of life. That which is not yours, can now be released to the higher good so that who you really are, the lovable, worthy self you’ve always been, now shines forth. Let it be so.

TS: Thank you so much.

CD: Thank you.

TS: I’ve been speaking with Cyndi Dale. She’s the author of a new book from Sounds True, a very comprehensive, practical guidebook on Energetic Boundaries: How to Stay Protected and Connected in Work, Love, and Life. Cyndi is also the author of the Sounds True book, The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy and a book on Illuminating the Afterlife: Your Soul’s Journey Through the Worlds Beyond. She’s also recorded with Sounds True a six-session audio learning course on Advanced Chakra Wisdom as well as a program on Energy Clearing: Heal Energetic Wounds, Release Negative Influences, and Create Healthy Boundaries. Cyndi, it’s always great to talk to you—so practical, grounded, helpful, heartful. I’m really appreciative.

CD: I am too. Thank you much!

TS: Many voices, one journey. Thanks for listening.

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